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Home of Elora Cafe among those being demolished for new building

The proposed demolitions will occur next spring

ELORA ‒ Council approved plans to demolish a building housing two Elora businesses to be replaced by a new mixed-use commercial/residential building. 

During a regular council meeting Monday evening, Mariana Iglesias, manager of planning services, explained that the demolition will allow for the four-storey building and parking garage. 

Currently, a detached garage at 196 Princess St., as well as the Elora Cafe and Kitras Art Glass at 175 Geddes St. are among those slated for demolition. 

“So (the cafe) is proposed to be demolished but that’s phase two,” said Iglesias, during the meeting. “We have not yet received a demolition permit but we have received a notice of intent.” 

While the garage is being demolished, dwellings at 196 Princess St. and the Connon building at 195 Geddes St. (Connon building) will not be altered. 

“If council chooses to protect any of these properties it changes all of the development plans,” said Iglesias. “The only form of protection that we have to stop a demolition is through heritage designation.” 

Having received a couple of messages from curious residents, Coun. Lisa MacDonald questioned why one building can stay while another is demolished on the same property. 

“(The public is asking) how can that be heritage if it looks terrible,” said MacDonald. 

A heritage impact assessment also concluded that the two structures do not have any identified heritage value earlier this year. 

“The owner of the building was the proprietor of the panoramic camera," said Iglesias. “It’s more to do with the history of that building rather than its architecture,” 

However, MacDonald later questioned why council was being asked to approve a demolition that hadn’t been submitted yet. 

“I do see that but this building has clearly not been kept up,” said MacDonald. “I feel like we’re looking at the cart before the horse.” 

The demolitions are planned for next spring. 

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

About the Author: Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isabel Buckmaster covers Wellington County under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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